Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane is chipping in her own money to make this year’s World of Bluegrass festivities a success.
She and her husband Ron are sponsoring one of the biggest stages at the Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest next Friday and Saturday. According to the festival’s sponsorship application, backing the City Plaza stage comes at a cost of $30,000.
“We wanted to play an active role in making the street festival even bigger and better because we’re big supporters of both the music and events that bring people to Raleigh,” the mayor said in a news release Monday.
Organizers of the event praised the McFarlanes for getting involved – and credited the mayor with helping land the event last year.
“City Plaza Stage is in many ways the crossroads of the StreetFest,” said Laurie Okun of the Raleigh Convention Center. “The McFarlanes’ sponsorship helps us make sure this crossroads is a nonstop party.”
The stage will feature 11 hours of live music each day, including high-profile bluegrass artists like Chatham County Line, Sierra Hull and Claire Lynch.
Most of the other stage sponsors announced so far are corporate donors like Red Hat, Pepsi and Belk. The McFarlanes are the only individual donors on the list; they recently sold their pharmaceutical business, MedPro Rx, to a Michigan company.
Town growth prompts new job
Fuquay-Varina is growing quickly, and town leaders have created a new position to manage development.
Mark Matthews has been been named assistant town manager. His role, according to the town, will be to “provide oversight to departments that impact growth.”
Fuquay-Varina, with just more than 20,000 residents, is the fastest-growing city in North Carolina with a population of at least 5,000 people. It has doubled in size in the last decade.
Town Manager Adam Mitchell said in a news release that hiring an assistant town manager will allow Fuquay-Varina to “get out in front of this growth” and will help officials be more responsive to residents and developers.
Matthews is currently a fiscal and policy analyst for Wake County. He said he also worked with the county manager’s office as a liaison between “internal and external stakeholders,” learning skills he can take to his new job.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from N.C. State University and a master’s of public administration from the University of Kansas.
Matthews will start Oct. 20 with an annual salary of $90,000.
Schewel receives parks award
Durham City Councilman Steve Schewel has won a Distinguished Legislator Award from the N.C. Recreation and Park Association, a nonprofit organization for people employed in parks and recreation and citizen board members.
“Schewel has demonstrated his passion for open space and recreation,” the award announcement said, making particular note of the city’s new half-cent property tax for park maintenance.
“This funding is a direct result of his efforts,” the announcement said, also recognizing him for coaching youth soccer for more than 20 years, promoting Community Trail Watch and challenging city employees and the public to run with him.
Schewel is the council liaison to the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission.
• Congresswoman Renee Ellmers will speak to The Republican Women of Cary and Southwestern Wake on Thursday at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Check-in and social time is 11:30 a.m., with lunch at noon. Lunch is $20. RSVP to Sue Rousselo atRWCSW123@GMAIL.COM
Compiled by Colin Campbell, Will Doran and Jim Wise.
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